Alaska News & Analysis

  • You may need to accommodate 'long COVID' employees

    Post-Acute COVID-19 Syndrome, colloquially referred to as "long COVID," occurs when an individual who had the disease continues to experience ongoing symptoms for months afterward. Individuals with long COVID might have difficulty working in the same way they did before the infection and may be entitled to workplace accommodations so they can do their job. Even if they don't think of themselves as having a disability, they may meet the Americans with Disabilities Act's (ADA) definition.

  • Arizona employers, be mindful of new statutes, administrative guidance on vaccine mandates

    As the COVID-19 delta variant continues to surge and with full Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of the Pfizer vaccine, many employers are again thrust into uncertainty about how to maintain a safe workplace. As you seek the right path forward, be mindful of the August 20 opinion issued by the Arizona attorney general with respect to whether an Arizona employer may require a COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of employment. Long-standing state and federal laws, as well as legislation that took effect September 29, 2021, will affect your decisions.

  • Do's and don'ts for employers considering COVID-19 vaccine mandates

    Two federal district courts and one appellate court recently upheld COVID-19 vaccine mandates. Before implementing one at your business, however, consider the pros and cons. For more details, read on.

  • Tips on making reasonable accommodations for employee vaccine mandates

    You must provide a reasonable accommodation to employees who can't take the COVID-19 vaccine because of a disability or a sincerely held religious belief, according to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Title VII. While the process is similar to other employee accommodation requests, the Arizona attorney general recently issued an opinion offering additional guidance to employers mandating vaccinations, stating: "In most cases this will require employers to accommodate . . . employees by using the same measures [they used] for approximately the last [17] months of the pandemic (e.g., masking, spacing, increased sanitation measures, teleworking, etc.)." Many companies employed the measures with the understanding they would be temporary. What steps must you take to accommodate an employee under the circumstances?

  • Showing favoritism to paramour not unlawful sex bias

    Although supervisory favoritism toward a paramour may be unfair and ill-advised, it isn't illegal sex discrimination under Title VII, ruled the 9th Circuit (which covers Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington).

  • New NLRB General Counsel identifies possible changes

    Those of you who have watched the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)—the nation's primary enforcer of labor law—over the years no doubt expect it to reshuffle its priorities when the White House changes parties. The Board swore in Jennifer Abruzzo as its new general counsel (GC) on July 22, 2021, and three weeks later, she released an internal memorandum blueprint for changes to the law she would like to see the agency implement.

  • Workplace primer on attracting, retaining neurodiverse talent

    Neurodiversity represents the inherent differences in neurological structure and function. The term encompasses neurocognitive differences such as autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dyslexia, Tourette's syndrome, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, intellectual disability, and schizophrenia. Most governments don't provide neurodiverse individuals with the support necessary to enter and remain in the workforce, but many multinational employers are becoming aware of the benefits of having a neurodiverse workplace.

  • Both friends and foes of unions stepping up their efforts

    The union movement has seen declining numbers for decades, but with a staunchly prounion advocate in the White House, union supporters are hoping to soon see progress for their cause. But union foes are hoping to thwart efforts aimed at easing the way for unionization.

  • It's time to think about the holidays: To party or not to party?

    As fall settles in, it's time to think about the upcoming holiday season. But the continuing pandemic makes it hard to plan. Will it be safe to party in person this year? Is it OK for vaccinated coworkers to gather for food, drink, and other merriment? Perhaps an alternative activity such as the Zoom parties some organizations threw last year are more appropriate. Or maybe a nice gift basket delivered to employees' homes would be a better option.

  • Cutting-Edge HR

    Survey finds enhancing employee experience a priority. More than nine in 10 employers (94%) say enhancing the employee experience will be an important priority at their organization over the next three years. That compares with just 54% that indicated it was important to their organization before the pandemic, according to a survey from advisory firm Willis Towers Watson. The 2021 Employee Experience Survey also shows that adapting to the new reality of work will take time and require a hybrid work model, and many employers are not ready to meet that challenge. The survey also shows most respondents believe a positive employee experience is a key driver of engagement, employee well-being, productivity, and ability to attract and retain talent. The survey also shows that while employers expect the proportion of their employees working primarily remotely will drop in three years, they expect one in four will be working a mix of on-site and remotely in three years, triple the current number.